Monday, June 29, 2015

Lady Antebellum, Hunter Hayes concert review: Irvine, Calif.

A version of my review originally appeared at 
Photos by Drew A. Kelley

Lady Antebellum's latest studio release is called "747."

That title could easily refer to the Nashville trio's soaring career trajectory since the late 2000s as it steadily racked up chart topping singles, albums and awards.

Seeking to change things up a bit, several new songs utilize pop-oriented programming and loops without being a major departure.

Saturday's sold out, seven hour-long Go Fest show at Irvine Meadows was put on by LA radio station Go Country 105 FM. The event paired one of this year's hottest country music tours with up and comers on a side stage, line dancing, plus moonshine and western wear vendors.

Half of Lady Antebellum's 22-song Orange County, Calif. set (which was being filmed for a future DVD release) concentrated on its quadruple platinum 2010 album "Need You Now" and "747."

Opening with the stomping "Long Stretch of Love," all three members walked onstage in unison and displayed some supple harmonies. The crowd immediately went crazy for the fun and hedonistic, laser lit "Bartender."

When Hillary Scott sang "nothing's sweeter than summertime" during the comforting acoustic-based "American Honey," it couldn't have felt truer. She and co-lead singer Charles Kelley brought their usual intense dramatic delivery to "Just a Kiss" as a sparkling sky scene was projected on the back screens. Later, their connection proved equally riveting during "I Run to You" and encore selection "Need You Now" (Scott is married to the band's drummer, Chris Tyrell).

A spirited "Compass" had an appealing homey feel with prominent banjo and guest mandolin work by main stage opener Hunter Hayes. After Scott praised his talent, Hayes remained onstage to lead "Where it All Begins," a great new song they all wrote and recorded together. It recently entered the country singles chart.

Kelley provided a brief history of Lady A before fervent rocker "Love Don't Live Here" (the group's first hit in '07). Then he, Scott and Dave Haywood headed to the B stage for an acoustic mini-set including the tender "One Great Mystery," a sweet "Dancin' Away with My Heart," Ed Sheeran cover "Thinking Out Loud" and acapella bit of "Hello World." The slinky grooving' "Downtown" was a highlight.

Scott fared well during a feisty take on Shania Twain's "Any Man of Mine." Hayes and fellow opener Sam Hunt joined everyone for "Walk This Way." Hunt handled lead vocals on the raucous Aerosmith tune and almost got lost in the rapid fire wordplay. Finally, "We Owned the Night" was apt choice to close the proceedings.

Immediately preceding Lady Antebellum was Hayes, whose hour-long set was mostly a high energy affair.

The young, charismatic singer and guitar whiz began with a breezy "Tattoo," pogoed with his band and barely paused between songs.

A circuitous "Storm Warning" and extended "Somebody's Heartbreak" (containing some call and response action with the keyboardist) were winning showcases for Hayes' impressive fretwork.

Darkly intense rocker "Secret Love" was a standout, as were new songs like the poppy, insanely catchy "21" and "Young and in Love." While the earnest piano ballad "Invisible" (and heartfelt intro by Hayes) prompted some snide comments from a few older male concertgoers, the song has an important message for kids. Buoyant closer "I Want Crazy" prompted young females to loudly sing along.

Since the venue's seated section opened 15 minutes before the music's scheduled start time, I ended up missing most of Sam Hunt's set due a bottleneck jam of people trying to get inside. The college football player-turned-singer's acoustic guitar playing mixed with hip hop proved an odd fit during "Single for the Summer"; the edgy rap rock of "Breakup in a Small Town," even more so. But the energetic country chart topper "Leave the Night On" went down a storm.

Among side stage acts on the concourse area, giddy female singer Cam was delightful. Performing songs from her new Arista Nashville "Welcome to Cam Country" EP, the Long Beach native often came across like a young Dolly Parton and got enthusiastic reactions from the crowd. Highlights included latest single "Burning House" (about a man she did wrong), infectious Go Country fave "My Mistake" and fast-paced revenge tale "Runaway Train."

Amie Mangola's ballad-heavy country set was pleasant enough, but really didn't kick into gear until the Jimmy Buffett-esque "Tequila and a Broken Heart." Earlier, Mo Pitney had a style that brought to mind an edgier Randy Travis. He did a mildly engaging tune about meeting Merle Haggard and a passable cover of Cheap Trick's "I Want You to Want Me."

Next: 7 p.m. July 10, Sleep Train Amphitheatre, San Diego, $30.75-$60.50,

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness joins New Politics on tour

One of my highlights of the recent Coachella Festival, McMahon always puts on a memorable show....

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness and New Politics announced The Wilderness Politics North American co-headline tour. Kicking off in October, the bands will visit major markets through November.

Tickets go on sale on June 26 at and

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness’ eponymous album has produced the smash single, “Cecilia and the Satellite,” garnering over 6 million Spotify plays and has become a top 10 hit across both Alternative and AAA radio, now exploding at Hot AC.

Aside from his professional successes, McMahon is a survivor of leukemia and founder of the Dear Jack Foundation which advocates for and supports initiatives that benefit adolescents diagnosed with cancer.

Tour dates:

10/12 - Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre***
10/13 - Seattle, WA @ Sodo Showbox**
10/14 - Vancouver, BC @ Vogue
10/16 - Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater**
10/17 - Los Angeles, CA @ Club Nokia
10/18 - Ventura, CA @ Majestic Ventura Theater
10/20 - San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
10/21 - Tucson, AZ @ Rialto
10/23 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Complex
10/26 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Ave
10/31 - Dallas, TX @ House of Blues**
11/01 - Austin, TX @ Emo’s**
11/03 - Houston, TX @ House of Blues
11/04 - New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
11/06 - Jacksonville, FL @ Freebird Live*
11/07 - Orlando, FL @ House of Blues
11/08 - Raleigh, NC @ The Ritz
11/09 - Charlotte, NC @ Fillmore
11/11 - Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall*
11/12 - Nashville, TN @ Cannery
11/13 - Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart's
11/14 - Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
11/15 - Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall
11/17 - Washington, DC @ Echo Stage
11/18 - New York, NY @ Terminal 5
11/19 - Providence, RI @ Lupo’s*
11/20 - Announcing Soon
11/21 - Albany, NY @ Upstate Concert Hall
11/22 - Portland, ME @ State Theatre
11/24 - Sayreville, NJ @ Starland
11/25 - Huntington, NY @ The Paramount
11/27 - Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom
11/28 - Philadelphia, PA @ Fillmore

*New Politics, The Griswolds & LOLO only
**No The Griswolds
***New Politics & LOLO only

New Richard Thompson music, world tour dates

Richard Thompson's new album Still is available today via Fantasy Records and is available at all digital retainers and record stores. 

It was recorded in a two-story rehearsal loft in Chicago over the course of nine days with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy at the helm, backed by several longtime players from both Thompson's and Tweedy's bands.

"[He's] been one of my favorite guitar players for a very long time," stated Tweedy. "When I think about it, he's also one of my favorite songwriters and favorite singers. He's the Ultimate Triple Threat. Getting to work closely with him on this record was a truly rewarding experience, not to mention a great thrill. And he keeps alive my streak of working exclusively with artists who make me look good as a producer."

A recipient of BBC's Lifetime Achievement Award and Mojo's Les Paul Award, Richard Thompson was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen of England's 2011 New Year Honours List. The Americana Music Association also recently honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting. Robert Plant, REM, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt and many others have recorded Thompson's songs.

Thompson will be on tour in the US and Europe through 2015. 

Track listing:

1) She Never Could Resist A Winding Road
2) Beatnik Walking
3) Patty Don't You Put Me Down
4) Broken Doll
5) All Buttoned Up
6) Josephine
7) Long John Silver
8) Pony In The Stable
9) Where's Your Heart
10) No Peace No End
11) Dungeons For Eyes
12) Guitar Heroes

World tour dates:

JUN 26 - Town Hall Theatre - New York, NY
JUN 27 - Solid Sound Music & Arts Festival - North Adams, MA
JUL 10 - Bearsville Theater - Bearsville, NY*
JUL 12 - RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest - Ottawa, ON*
JUL 17 - Vancouver Folk Fest - Vancouver, BC*
JUL 19 - California Worldfest - Grass Valley, CA*
JUL 25 - Calgary Folk Music Festival - Calgary, Alberta*
AUG 01 - The Kent Stage - Kent, OH*
AUG 02 - Dublin Irish Fest - Dublin, OH*
AUG 08 - Edmonton Folk Fest - Edmonton, AB*
AUG 13 - The State Room - Salt Lake City, UT*
AUG 16 - Folks Festival at Planet Bluegrass - Lyons, CO*
AUG 27 - Tonder Fest - Tonder, Denmark*
AUG 28 - Purbeck Valley Folk Fest - Wareham, UK*
AUG 30 - Shrewsbury Folk Fest - Shresbury, UK
SEP 01 - Vicar Street - Dublin, IRELAND
SEP 02 - Perth Concert Hall - Perth, UK
SEP 03 - Aberdeen Music Hall - Aberdeen, UK
SEP 05 - Queens Hall - Edinburgh, UK
SEP 06 - The Sage - Gateshead, UK
SEP 08 - Philharmonic Hall - Liverpool, UK
SEP 09 - The Lowery - Salford, UK
SEP 10 - City Hall - Sheffield, UK
SEP 12 - Royal Centre - Nottingham, UK
SEP 13 - Birmingham Symphony Hall - Birmingham, UK
SEP 15 - St. David's Hall - Cardiff, UK
SEP 16 - Colston Hall - Bristol, UK
SEP 18 - Regent Theatre - Ipswich, UK
SEP 19 - Corn Exchange - Cambridge, UK
SEP 20 - Royal Festival Hall - London, UK
SEP 23 - New Morning - Paris, France
SEP 24 - Hedon - Zwolle, Netherlands
SEP 25 - Patronaat - Haarlem, Netherlands
SEP 26 - Gebouw T - Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands
SEP 28 - Theatrehaus - Stuttgart, Germany
SEP 30 - Hirsch - Nurnberg, Germany
OCT 01 - Zoom - Frankfurt, Germany
OCT 03 - Treviglio - Bergamo, Italy
OCT 06 - Papiersaal - Zurich, Switzerland
OCT 07 - AB Flex - Brussels, Belgium
*Solo Acoustic

The return of Simple Plan

Atlantic recording group Simple Plan has announced details of their new single. “Saturday” – the multi-platinum band’s first new music in almost four years – is available now in the iTunes Store and DSPs worldwide, and can be heard here –

Produced by Howard Benson, “Saturday” heralds Simple Plan’s new album, set for worldwide release later this year with further details to be announced soon.

“We are extremely excited to finally release a new song for our fans! After spending the last two years writing and recording, we cannot wait for them to hear the entire album new album and to start playing shows everywhere!” says Simple Plan’s Pierre Bouvier.

Following the release of “Saturday,” the Canadian pop/punk band will celebrate by hitting the road with a wide-ranging summer tour schedule highlighted by a series of top-billed dates on the 2015 Vans Warped Tour beginning July 19 at Holmdel, NJ’s PNC Bank Arts Center. 

From there, the group does select headline dates and appearances at England’s Reading/Leeds Festival. Simple Plan will be among the stars performing at the second annual Journeys Alternative Press Music Awards, set for July 22 at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena. For complete details and ticket information, please visit

“Saturday” marks Simple Plan’s first new music since 2011’s internationally successful “Get Your Heart On” Produced by Brian Howes, that album found the combo joined by All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth, Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo, and UK songstress Natasha Bedingfield. “Jet Lag,” the collection’s lead single, was a worldwide hit, earning chart success and commercial milestones including 2x platinum certification from Australia’s ARIA.

In addition to their studio forays and frequent touring, Simple Plan has long been involved in philanthropic efforts spearheaded by their own Simple Plan Foundation. Created in 2005, the Simple Plan Foundation supports a variety of social and medical organizations dedicated to helping young people in need. The Simple Plan Foundation has raised over 1.5 million dollars in donations to date. For more, please see

Simple Plan is: Pierre Bouvier – vocals; Chuck Comeau – drums; David Desrosiers – bass, backing vocals; Sebastien Lefebvre – guitar, backing vocals; Jeff Stinco – lead guitar.

For up-to-the-minute news and information, please visit

US TOUR 2015

All Dates with tthe 2015 Vans Warped Tour

19 Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center
21 Scranton, PA The Pavilion at Montage Mountain
24 Detroit, MI The Palace of Auburn Hills Parking Lot
25 Chicago, IL First Midwest Bank Amphitheater

Peter Frampton reissues due this summer

After an incredible run through the 1970s on A&M Records, Peter Frampton reemerged in 1986 on a new label, with a new album and single that found him back on the Billboard charts and radios across the world.
Frampton's Premonition and When All The Pieces Fit will be re-released on Omnivore Recordings on August 28. Now will follow on September 4.

Premonition became Peter’s first release to make the Billboard Top 100 Albums in five years. Anchored by the mainstream rock hit “Lying,” he shared album production duties and was joined by Steve Ferrone (Average White Band, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers), Tony Levin (King Crimson) and Omar Hakim (Sting, David Bowie). After Premonition’s release, Frampton joined his friend David Bowie on the latter’s 1987 album Never Let Me Down and its ensuing Glass Spider Tour, another step in his reintroduction to the masses.

Frampton capped off a successful mid-’80s with his tenth studio release, 1989’s When All The Pieces Fit. The album hit the Billboard Top 200, following in the wake of 1986’s Premonition.

Co-helming the project with Chris Lord-Alge (Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, Stevie Nicks), Frampton also brought in some new song collaborators, notably the Rembrandts’ Danny Wilde and John Regan. Regan, who’d worked with Frampton since 1979, was also a member of Frehley’s Comet and played on records by Billy Idol, Bonnie Tyler and others. 
The album’s first single, “Holding On to You,” was co-written by Peter with award winner Will Jennings (“Up Where We Belong,” “My Heart Will Go On,” “Tears in Heaven”). Other musicians on When All The Pieces Fit include Fourplay’s Nathan East, Steve Ferrone, and percussionist Lenny Castro.

Now, originally released in 2003, was Peter’s 12th studio release. Proclaiming “I’m Back,” he addressed his longest gap between releases, and offered up a seriously strong collection of material. From riff-filled rockers to shimmering ballads and instrumentals, Now was not only a culmination of what made Frampton a superstar, but showed he was far from done creating.
Frampton reached back into his history with Bob Mayo (who played in his Frampton Comes Alive! band) on keyboards, and found a new songwriting collaborator in George Kennedy. 
In addition to Now’s 10 originals, Peter pays tribute to his then recently departed friend George Harrison with a cover of the Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” 
All three reissues, which include liner notes from writer Scott Schinder based on new interviews with Peter, are timed to coincide with Frampton’s first acoustic tour this fall.

Monday, June 22, 2015

New Order confirms album details

New Order has announced the release of their new album, Music Complete, out on Sept. 25. Listen here for a teaser

The long-awaited album will be New Order’s first full studio release since 2005's Waiting For The Siren's Call, and their debut for Mute.
Music Complete finds the group revitalized, and where the group has previously pushed toward electronics or guitars, here the two are in balance. Music Complete also marks a return to the studio for Gillian Gilbert; this is her first album with New Order since 2001's Get Ready.

The album will be released on CD, download, black vinyl and limited edition clear vinyl. In addition, there will be an exclusive 8-piece deluxe vinyl collection that includes the album plus extended versions of all 11 tracks on colored vinyl – Pre-order HERE.

New Order is: Bernard Sumner, Gillian Gilbert, Stephen Morris, Tom Chapman and Phil Cunningham.

Music Complete is produced by New Order, except ‘Singularity’ and ‘Unlearn This Hatred’, both produced by Tom Rowlands, while ‘Superheated’ features additional production by Stuart Price. Long-term collaborator Peter Saville provides art direction.

Live dates to be announced soon.

Track listing:

Tutti Frutti
People On The High Line
Stray Dog
Nothing But A Fool
Unlearn This Hatred
The Game

Monday, June 15, 2015

Stagecoach Festival 2016 advance ticket sale

I had a great time as usual covering this year's fest (see review elsewhere on this blog) and hope I get to do it again next year. Here's the latest news...
Stagecoach 2016 -- set for Friday, April 29, Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1, 2016 -- marks the festival’s tenth year at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA.

Festival passes will go on advance sale Friday, June 19 at 11am PDT through Friday, June 26 at 6pm or while supplies last. Purchasers can pay in full or spread out their payments using the EZ Pay purchase plan. Festival passes can be purchased during the advance sale through

Three-day GA weekend passes are $269. Corral Standing Pit and Corral Reserved Seating passes are $899. All taxes, shipping and fees are included in listed ticket prices. What you see is what you pay! Children 10 and under are free.

The expanded RV Resort is back for 2016. Returning 2015 RV Resort purchasers will be able to buy an RV pass during the advance sale. New 2016 RV Resort spots are not sold during the advance sale. Prices remain $550 for dry camping, $850 for 30amp and $950 for 50amp.

For complete festival information, to review reserved seating options or learn about available travel packages, please visit